If you’re new to BDSM, all of the equipment options can be overwhelming. It’s important to have all of the essentials ready before starting any scene, but what toys should you have at your disposal and where do you get them?

I can help! The following 10 items should be in every BDSM toy bag. Why? Because they allow for versatility in terms of intensity, play style and investment. Plus, they will get you through almost any type of scene. Best of all, they are great for beginners and experienced players alike, which means these are tools you can use for years to come.

A Blindfold

Sensory deprivation is often a cornerstone of BDSM scenes. When one sense is removed, the others become magnified. Take away the ability to see and suddenly every sound, smell, touch and taste becomes a titillating, mysterious adventure. For some, eye and head cover also go hand and hand with objectification and dehumanization.

You have many options for eye coverings. Sex toy retailers offer a wide selection from basic blindfolds to fancy hoods. Items around your home like a sleep mask or a wide silk scarf tied around the eyes are less expensive and equally effective options. My partner and I are fans of using over-the-head style Halloween masks that significantly restrict vision without completely obscuring it. Not only does this allow comfort for those who may not like full masks, it is ideal for role play or humiliation play depending on what type of mask you choose.

A Gag

Another sense you can remove from your sub is their ability to speak. Ball gags stuff the mouth, but depending on the size, they can be difficult for people with jaw and mouth issues (although there are some great beginner ball gags out there). Some find bar gags or small, soft open mouth o-ring gags a better option in this case. Of course, you can always use a scarf tied around the head and between the lips like a bar gag. In lieu of a ball gag, stuff your partner's mouth with your panties instead.

Restraints

This is another item commonly seen in kinky scenes, and the options are plentiful. Bondage tape is one of my favorite types of restraints because it’s inexpensive, easy to use, disposable, and is designed to only stick to itself. Soft, basic, Velcro closure wrist and/or ankle cuffs are also great for starters. If you’re interested in rope play, pick up cotton clothesline from the home improvement store (as general rule, stay away from nylon and man-made materials), it works just as well as some of the fancy rope made specifically for bondage.

Zip ties and handcuffs are things you should steer clear of as a beginner because they can tighten on their own and uncomfortably pinch the wrists, potentially causing nerve damage. Duct tape can tear and irritate the skin - and rip out hair - so avoid that too.

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Wartenberg Pinwheel

The Wartenberg pinwheel is a wonderful sensation play toy that is a must for everyone's kinky tool kit. Pinwheels look like small pizza cutters, but have tiny spikes on the end around the wheel. To use a Wartenberg wheel, roll it firmly but gently across your lover’s skin. If you apply a great amount of pressure, it’s possible to pierce the skin. Be sure to test it on yourself to find the right touch before trying it on others. It’s great to use paired up with sensory deprivation and feels best rolled over tender areas like nipples, the back of the neck, inside of the thighs, etc.

Body Clamps

Clamps offer so many possibilities. They can be used on the labia, testicles, tongues and lips, and other parts of the body. Adjustable, tweezer-style clamps have the lightest grip while Japanese clover clamps are intended for those who can tolerate a lot of pressure. One of the best things to use as starter clamps are simple wooden clothes pins. (Check out my articles on genital clams for men and genital clamps for women to learn more.)

Dildos & Vibrators

One of the most popular types of vibrators for BDSM are wand-style body massagers. A cordless version is perfect to affix to someone's body with rope bondage or bondage tape. Vibrators can be used for pleasure or consensual forced orgasm play. Don’t forget, they aren’t just for vulvas and vaginas; penises like vibration too. It’s also a good idea to also have some non-vibrating insertables handy, like a butt plug or curved toy like the Njoy Pure Wand, which is suitable for G-spots or prostates. (Get a whole list of G-spot wonders in 5 Top Toys for Finding - and Pleasing - Your G-Spot.)

A Riding Crop

Riding crops are versatile impact play implements that can be mild or deliver quite a sting depending on how you wield them. Smack genitals and nipples very gently with the crop or go a little harder and hit the back of the thighs and behind. If your crop is long and sturdy enough, you may be able to use the middle section as a cane.

A Cane

Canes come in a variety of materials including wood, acrylic and plastic. They can also be quite painful. Think of the stories you’ve heard about people being hit with a switch; a cane works the same way. They aren’t for the faint of heart. Not a lot of force is needed to inflict pain and leave marks on someone with a cane. The best places to strike with a cane are the butt and thighs. Caning the bottom of the feet is also an option and is called bastinado. In a pinch, the plastic stick used to open and close venetian blinds can be used as a makeshift cane.

A Flogger

Different kinds of floggers produce different kinds of sensations. Floggers with a lot of wide, soft falls will be the most gentle and feel similar to a deep tissue massage. They are often described as “thuddy.” Deer skin and suede will be the most gentle followed by heavier leathers and faux-leather. For a stinging, more painful feeling, go for floggers with thinner, stiffer falls. Floggers made from rubber or nylon cords are particularly brutal.

A Paddle

Paddles are a personal favorite of mine because they offer such a wide range of sensations. You can find them made from wood, metal, plastic, leather, faux leather and many other materials that each give different sensations. Some have soft padding on one side for a more sensual feel. If you are on a budget, visit the dollar or kitchen store. Wooden spoons, heavy spatulas, and hair brushes make reasonably good budget paddles. If you want something softer, sliding a car washing mitt over your paddle or directly over your hand will do the trick. (Learn more about selecting the right material for you in What's the difference between a wood, leather or silicone spanking paddle?)

In addition to these 10 items, don’t forget the basic sexytime standbys like condoms, medical gloves, lube, medical safety scissors, baby wipes, and puppy pads/waterproof blanket/towel.

Also remember that these are the basics that will be the foundation of your kinky toolkit. Once you get a feel for what types of play you and your partners like, you can add more advanced items like a neon wand, TENS unit, or fancier impact instruments and restraint systems.

Lastly, the most important thing to include in your arsenal is your imagination. The best scenes aren’t made by fancy tools alone. Your creativity and willingness to explore are the most essential elements you need to make your kinky scenes passionate and memorable.

This article is brought you by our partner, PleasureTease.

The Top 10 BDSM Toys for Beginners